Edward J. Thomas - World War II

13 September 1945 Thursday

Dear Mom, Harry & Izzy:

I run inclosing only two photographs instead of three because I sent one
to Gertie.

Here is the latest information concerning my discharge. Yesterday the
Personnel Office called me up and told me to come down to sign my discharge
paper. When I reported there, a letter was handed to me for signature.
It wasn't the discharge itself, but just a request for the discharge. After
signing, I found that I would still have to wait from two to three weeks
before I could leave Memphis. That's how enlisted men are handled by the
army when they are eligible for discharge. Here is an example of how officers are discharged: A telegram came from Washington about 4 or 5 days ago permitting the discharge of certain officers. One officer sitting close to me in the office became eligible and applied for a discharge. Today he received his order to leave for his separation center. By tomorrow he may be riding first-class on a train, and here I am wondering if I'll be out in six weeks after Washington wired this headquarters to release all men over 35 years of age with at least 2 years of service.

There aren't enough separation centers right now. The small number they have at present can't even handle what few soldiers there are with more than 85 points. I'll have to wait until there is room for me in my separation center at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois.

Downtown I met a sergeant from the 4th Service Command who told me that
beginning Sept 17 the use of separation centers would be cancelled. Soldiers
would be discharged and sent directly home from the posts, camps, or stations to which they are attached. There seems to be no reason why this method could not be used.

Today I just read a news bulletin stating the army plans to increase the
number of separation centers. This contradicts the news the sergeant gave me. It seems now as if the discontinuance of separation centers was nothing but a rumor. By a miracle something may happen to shorten my wait of an additional two or three weeks and, while waiting I remain

Yours not yet, Eddie

P.S. Weather Report: Rain every day since Sept 1. Each succeeding day of the past week the thermometer has fallen lower and lower. Today it's too chilly for comfort. On Sept 1 cotton farmers had their fingers crossed to ward off bad weather for their cotton harvest. Now their fingers are uncrossed and they are wondering if there will be any harvest at all.

The paper said the lowest temperature today was 64. Being accustomed to
the heat of the South, I thought it actually was about 40.

Eddie Gets Book Quote from New York Publisher

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